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Research showed that an antibiotic mix impacted the gut bacteria in mice to the point that it slowed the growth and development of Alzheimer’s, but only in males.
Amyloid plaques are a feature specific to Alzheimer’s disease. They form when a particular protein within the neurons of the brain buildup and clump together. These amyloid plaques disrupt brain cell function and lead to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
The team was led by Professor Sangram S. Sisodia, who is also the director of the Center for Molecular Neurobiology at The University of Chicago.
The team was already aware that people with Alzheimer’s showed changes in their gut bacteria, and they had previously carried out studies showing how gut bacteria could potentially affect Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in rodents.
This research found that changes to the microbiome limited the development of amyloid plaques in male mice, but not females.
Sisodia says of the research that “[w]hile compelling, our published studies on the role of the gut microbiome on amyloid plaque formation were limited to a single strain of mice.”